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  • Writer's pictureJustine Noel

UAW-Stellantis Agreement Encompasses $18.9 Billion Investment

The United Auto Workers union has disclosed that Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler, has plans to make a substantial investment of $18.9 billion in the United States by April 2028.

This significant commitment includes an allocation of $1.5 billion to establish production for a new midsize pickup truck at a previously idled factory in Belvidere, Illinois.

These investments are slated for completion within the 4½-year provisional agreement, which is still pending ratification by the approximately 43,000 UAW members covered by the proposed contract at Stellantis.

The details of the provisional agreement were unveiled after local UAW leaders endorsed the pact, which UAW President Shawn Fain described as "the most lucrative contract our union has won in decades."

This provisional labor agreement was achieved following around six weeks of targeted strikes by the union against Stellantis, General Motors, and Ford Motor. These work stoppages commenced on September 15 after the parties failed to reach agreements covering the 146,000 UAW members with the automakers before the strike deadline.

Fain remarked during an online broadcast on Thursday, "For the first time in a long time, we’ve done the unthinkable: Reopened a plant," referring to the Belvidere factory, which had been idled since February 2022.

He emphasized that this was achieved through resilience and not through compromising working conditions or accepting reduced pay, stating, "We didn’t do it by begging the company or agreeing to work terrible hours, or take a pay cut, or pursue a race to the bottom. We didn’t do it by giving back. We did it by fighting back."

Rich Boyer, UAW Vice President, who led the Stellantis negotiations, emphasized product commitments as a top priority and underscored the pivotal role of the Belvidere plant in the discussions.

Key details disclosed on Thursday include $8.1 billion in secured product commitments from Stellantis, as stated by the UAW. In addition to the Belvidere investment, other planned allocations encompass $1.5 billion each for a Dodge-Jeep plant in Detroit and a Jeep complex in Ohio, $1.4 billion for a Ram plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and $600 million for Stellantis' Warren Truck plant in suburban Detroit.

The UAW also announced that the company intends to invest $3.2 billion in a new joint-venture battery plant in Belvidere, scheduled to open in 2028. The deal further includes previously announced battery investments of $6.2 billion for two joint-venture battery facilities in Kokomo, Indiana.

Fain disclosed that UAW members at the Belvidere battery plant will be represented by the union through the employee leasing arrangement with the joint venture. It remains unclear whether the previously announced plants will fall under the same terms, and a UAW spokesperson did not immediately provide clarification following the release of the agreement details.

A Stellantis spokeswoman declined to comment on the union's announcements.

The UAW noted that negotiators have also secured a car-lease program for employees that aligns with that of company management, offering discounts, unlimited miles, insurance, and maintenance and repair services.

Similar to the tentative agreement with Ford, this deal with Stellantis features significant pay raises, bonuses, and enhanced benefits for autoworkers, including profit-sharing payments and a $5,000 ratification bonus.

The 25% raises comprise an 11% increase upon ratification, followed by a 3% increase over the next three years and a 5% increase in September 2027.

UAW members at Ford have already started voting on their provisional agreement, with 82% of workers at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant showing support for the pact. These members are part of the initial wave of strikes that began in tandem with assembly plants at GM and Stellantis in suburban Detroit.

UAW members at Stellantis and GM are anticipated to cast their votes on the agreements over the next couple of weeks, with a simple majority required for ratification.

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